Blog

Subjects

On this page you can learn all about the subjects that make up the curriculum here at Tenacres.

English


Group work in a literacy session.

All children at Tenacres are encouraged to develop and apply their literacy skills across the curriculum, as most of our English lessons include topical links. Our children have access to a wide range of reading books and are encouraged to take them home each day.

]Each child is given a Tenacres Home School Diary which includes pages for reading records. In here parents, pupils and teachers make comments on a child's efforts and achievements with particular books. The overall progress of children being carefully monitored by their teacher.

Sometimes children’s choice of reading book may be teacher directed but more often the children choose the books for themselves. We also use guided reading to develop comprehension and inference skills within a group.

We set and expect high standards of achievement in writing. Grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting are taught throughout the school in both designated English lessons and cross-curricular contexts. Opportunities for writing are many and various, including stories, poetry, letter-writing, reports, news and the results of investigations.

Throughout the curriculum we also teach and develop speaking and listening skills through group work, discussions and debates.

Phonics

In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 all of our children receive daily phonics sessions to build the essential skills for reading and writing.

Key skills include:

  • Letter sound recognition
  • Blending sounds to read
  • Segmenting words to spell
  • Recognition of key words

This is done through a multi-sensory approach, combining the letters and sounds program with ‘Jolly Phonics’.

We also have phonics programs in place to support those KS2 pupils who will benefit from them.

Reading Scheme

Children follow a progressive reading system throughout the school, reading books which match their needs and capabilities. We use books from a range of schemes to allow the children a wide choice.

Maths


Mathematical problem solving.

Maths is essential to everyday life and high quality education in maths provides children with a necessary foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason in maths and the fluency to apply their maths to a range of problems.

At Tenacres we aim to support children’s learning and to make it as exciting and relevant as possible which we do by involving them in such activities as World Maths Day, Outdoor Maths Week and saving their money in the HSBC/Tenacres School Bank.

Maths is taught through the Early Years Curriculum and the National Curriculum and lessons follow a typical format of activating children’s prior knowledge, learning new skills, practising and applying those skills and finally reviewing what they have learnt. The repeated learning of key skills as part of a daily maths lesson and links to other areas of the curriculum are also important aspects of maths at Tenacres.

Children are taught mostly in mixed ability classes, often in ability groups which remain flexible through regular teacher assessment. In Years 3 and 4 children are set across the year groups in order to support less confident learners and to encourage those with an aptitude for maths. Children enjoy this approach and make good progress.

At Tenacres we encourage parents and carers to support their children by practising number bonds, time, money and multiplication tables where appropriate.

Science


Group scientific experiments.

During Science teaching our aim is to foster a child’s curiosity and interest in the world around them.

At our school we teach cross-curricular Science as much as possible so that children are able to link their learning to real-life experiences. All lessons are planned with Curriculum 2014 objectives in mind but will always be adapted to promote the children’s needs.

At Tenacres we are lucky to have a vast array of resources to help the children learn about Science in a fun and interactive way. Although it can get messy, we like Science to be hands on and enjoyable. We also make great use of our school grounds in order to study plants and animals in their natural habitats and the local environment.

As the children progress through the school they begin to record their work in many ways, including graphs, diagrams and written investigations with predictions, but one factor remains the same – children enjoying Science in a practical way.

Art and Design


Making clay sculptures at RSA Academy Arrow Vale.

Art and design allows children to explore their creativity by engaging, inspiring and challenging them. At Tenacres, art and design is integrated into topic work throughout the school presenting children with meaningful learning opportunities.

Children work individually, in groups and as a whole class across a range of activities enabling them to experiment with different media. Through exploration, they develop control of a wide range of tools and techniques. Children are introduced to the work of artists, craft makers and designers from a variety of cultures both past and present.

Evaluation and reflection on both the children's own work and that of other people is an important aspect of the development of art appreciation and children are encouraged to use the language of art, craft and design to express their understanding and views.

Above all, art and design at Tenacres presents an opportunity for children to express themselves through their creations. We are proud of the work produced, examples of which can be seen displayed around school throughout the year.

Computing


Using some of our IT equipment.

Our computer network suite contains 30 PCs, which are used to teach Computing skills to all the children each week integrated into the whole curriculum.

Children develop their word processing, multimedia, database, spreadsheet, control and internet skills as they progress through the school. Mini Laptops are available for use in classrooms to help with cross curricular work.

As well as PCs and mini laptops, children have the opportunity to use digital cameras, data loggers, digital microscopes and programmable toys. We also have a vast range of educational software for all curriculum areas and can be accessed at home to support the children’s learning.

We have wireless running throughout the whole school which has enabled us to buy in IPads for the staff and children to use.

Each classroom is equipped with a PC, which is linked to the school network and an interactive whiteboard. This enables teachers to capitalise on the technology to support their teaching in all subjects.

Design Technology (DT)

DT is a practical area of the curriculum in which children are encouraged to use their creativity to solve problems. It is embedded into topic work across the school, enabling the children to learn within meaningful and relevant contexts.

Lessons are planned around the four areas of the National Curriculum- design, make, evaluate and technical knowledge. Children experience a variety of creative and practical activities to solve real and relevant problems, following through the designing and making process from start to end, while considering the needs of the user. Children are supported in thinking realistically about how to achieve their designs and reflecting on ways to improve them. At all stages we encourage children to consider the quality of their work and to be aware of any health and safety issues.

Practical skills are developed using a wide variety of materials and equipment including sheet materials, moulding materials, fabrics, construction kits, tools and a kitchen. DT activities encourage the use of skills from other subjects including maths, computing, art and science.

Children at Tenacres enjoy this area of the curriculum as it presents them with a sense of fulfilment and self-esteem when they see their completed creations.

Geography


Learning about maps.

Through the teaching of Geography we aim to stimulate children’s interest and awareness of the Earth, beginning with an appreciation of the immediate environment. We foster caring attitudes towards the children’s own locality, as well as the wider world and its population.

As with all subjects at Tenacres, Geography is taught using a cross curricular approach. We value the need for children to learn key skills through fieldwork studies and this underpins all learning in our Geography curriculum.

Key Stage 1

At Key Stage 1, pupils investigate their local area and a contrasting area in the UK or abroad, finding out about the environment in both places and the people who live there. The pupils begin to understand key specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography. Through fieldwork studies pupils begin to understand how to use key geographical equipment e.g. atlases, maps and compasses.

Key Stage 2

At Key Stage 2, children investigate a variety of people, places and environments and start to make links between different places in the world. They find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. The children continue to build on their fieldwork skills and develop a deeper understanding of places beyond their local area. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the World’s most significant human and physical features. The children will become familiar with how to observe, measure, record and present information about physical features using sketch maps, plans and graphs and digital technologies.

History


Visits to historical sites.

The aim of history teaching at Tenacres School is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology and through this they develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage.

The children at Tenacres learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain and by considering how people lived in the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today. We teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach them to investigate these past events and, by so doing, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving.

History teaching focuses on enabling children to think as historians. At Tenacres we believe it is imperative to incorporate skills such as enquiry and critical thinking. We ensure that we provide good quality images and artefacts to instigate curiosity, suspicion and enthusiasm to sustain children’s engagement.

In each key stage we give children the opportunity to visit sites that are local and of historical significance. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past. We recognize and value the importance of stories in history teaching and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the past.

At Tenacres we believe history is fun!

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

Here at Tenacres First School we are currently focussing on one language pathway- French. This enables children to move on to Middle School with a good understanding of the language continually developed upon there. Mrs McEvilly teaches each class in Years 3 and 4 to enable continuity throughout the school. Year 3 have a 30 minute teaching slot each week and Year 4 have 40 minutes of taught French each week. Years 1 and 2 are not required to learn a foreign language however if their topics allow and is relevant, their class teacher may choose to introduce it.

In order to follow the new 2014 National Curriculum, we teach through a variety of methods including, songs, puppets, acting out scenarios, conversations, written activities and listening games. French is taught through a cross curricular approach, whereby it is linked to the year group or class’ theme as closely as possible. We have found this only encourages engagement in the language and can then be followed up and linked with other areas of the curriculum. We not only teach French each week but class teachers are encouraged to promote the love of languages through using French at different times throughout the week e.g. carrying out the register, asking how someone is and giving basic commands such as ‘Merci’ and ‘écoute’.

Although we formally teach French, other languages are additionally promoted around school through the topics and themes we cover throughout the year, incorporating the love of our heritage languages.

Music


Enjoying some of the instruments in our Music Room.

We have an excellent reputation for Music provision at Tenacres.

Each class is able to use the facilities of a fully equipped Music Room, with a selection of percussion, wind, string and keyboard instruments. Reception children also have their own instrument tables within the classroom environment.

Within music lessons every child develops their musical skills through performance, composition and aural appreciation of music. The whole school has a weekly hymn practise and singing is a regular occurrence in most assemblies.

In Years 2, 3 and 4 opportunities are given for children to learn to play a musical instrument such as guitars, drums, recorders as well as brass instruments. Children across Years 2, 3 and 4 can also join the Tenacres Choir.

Musical performances of different kinds take place throughout the year. These include performances by visiting musicians as well as performances by our own children at music festivals and in school in assemblies, musical plays and concerts, to which a variety of audiences are invited.

By the time children leave Tenacres they have been exposed to a wide repertoire of music, ranging from traditional to the present day.

Physical Education (PE)


Using some of the apparatus in our School Hall.

The school enjoys the use of a good sized sports hall, three playgrounds (two marked with teaching grids), a playing field and a wide range of apparatus and equipment for indoor and outdoor use.

We encourage all children to be active and aim to develop confidence and physical skills as the children grow stronger.

All children have two hours of PE timetabled per week, through which we develop the four areas Dance; Games; Gymnastics and Athletics. Then in KS2 children have the opportunity to take part in Outdoor and Adventurous activities and Swimming.

Children who succeed in out-of-school activities are encouraged to show their sporting trophies/awards and to display their sporting talents in Achievement Assemblies.

PSHE and Citizenship


Group scientific experiments.

This is an essential part of the curriculum, providing a fundamental base for learning and living. It focuses on personal independence, life and social skills. It permeates many areas at the appropriate level for the child.

In the early years children learn to play and work together. Stories are told about telling the truth, friendships and helping others.

Later, values are taught, for example, respecting the property of others, keeping promises, accepting responsibility. Discussions on bullying, cheating and dishonesty all help the child to be aware of the healthy ethos within our school. We have also developed our PSHE curriculum to include awareness of drugs and medicines. We aim to ensure children have a good understanding of how to make healthy choices and stay safe.

We have a popular Pupils’ Council, with elected representatives from each class in Years 1-4. They meet weekly to discuss issues affecting the whole school and plan fund-raising and community events.

Through weekly PSHE sessions we aim to develop a child’s self-esteem and confidence. It provides a relaxed and secure situation in which the children have the opportunity to express their feelings.

Sex and Relationship Education is studied under the umbrella of Personal Social and Health Education. It provides a natural and caring environment for learning about growing and changing, both physically and emotionally. Parents may withdraw children from Sex and Relationships Education not required, but in doing so we would ask the parents to discuss the implications with the Headteacher. The Sex and Relationships Education policy was developed by a working party of teachers, parents and governors and ratified by the Governors.

Through citizenship education we aim to develop respect for people and a sense of social responsibility. As part of the curriculum we aim to raise awareness of the local, global and international issues such as conservation of animals and the work of various charities.

Religious Education (RE)

The Worcestershire agreed syllabus for Religious Education 2015 has been launched and so we are going to be following this to deliver RE in our school.

The principal aim of RE is to engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own.

There are three main aims which are:

Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews so they can:

  • Describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity within and between communities and amongst individuals.
  • Identify, investigate and respond to questions.
  • Appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life.

Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews so they can:

  • Explain reasonably their ideas.
  • Express their personal reflections and critical responses to questions.
  • Appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion.

Gain and deploy skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews so they can:

  • Find out about and investigate key concepts.
  • Enquire into what enables individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the well-being of all.
  • Articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.

These aims will be taught through a range of key questions in the overview below:


Year 1 visit to Ipsley Church.
 
Year 2 visit a Synagogue.

Year 3 visit a Hindu Temple.
 
Year 4 visit to Worcester Cathedral.